“Play on!” Parks & Recreation Camp Dagorhir instructor Andrew Mangold said on Thursday, August 14.
Around him at Dickinson Memorial Park, campers waited in “ships” wearing a range of costume pieces and holding foam handmade “swords” or other devices.
This is the sixth year the program has been offered, according to Mr Mangold, and it has been growing.
The camp brings a role playing game to life at the park, with campers choosing different characters to play. Some choose to be merchants, some choose to learn magic, and others decide to play monsters, according to Mr Mangold.
Over the years Mr Mangold said the camp’s structure has changed, and 31 kids were signed up for the program over the week of August 11.
Each week, Mr Mangold said a different story is introduced. On August 14 the campers were working in the limits of a sky world, with the grass areas of the park working as sky, and all the parts that were dirt working as islands. Campers held hula hoops around them to act as ships to navigate through the sky.
The campers were given worksheets to fill out with group back stories and character information, then it was time to play.
“Do you know where the orcs are?” one camper asked Mr Mangold, as he worked to oversee a trading area near his car. Other campers wanted to exchange items or ask about technicalities.
The type of students that sign up for Camp Dagorhir, Mr Mangold said, are creative and imaginative. Many campers, he said, have not found their game yet, and the camp gives them something they could not find elsewhere.
“It started because I like this kind of game,” said Mr Mangold, and while playing with other kids at camps, they asked for it to be offered as a full camp.
Nick Werden and John Holden both attended Camp Dagorhir as campers and have returned as camp counselors.
“It’s a fun form of exercise and sport,” said Nick. “It’s creative and a good stress release.”
Both Nick and John spoke highly of the camp.
“It’s great fun for anyone of any age. We’re always looking for more people,” said John.